The digital technology is estimated to save users 30 percent of tank servicing and refueling costs.
Right now, most storage and fuel tanks are monitored manually -- or not at all. As a result, thousands of refueling trucks unnecessarily hit the road thinking they need to fill tanks that don't need topping off. Conversely, fuel trucks also sometimes arrive too late, leaving tanks empty and disrupting operations, Atek Access Technologies President
With the new TankScan TSM8000, McDaniel expects waste oil collectors, fuel distributors and farmers with multiple operations to "avoid costly runouts and improve customer service" and save lots of money. TankScan uses a sensor that sits atop each tank and a digital plumb line and sensor reaching to the bottom of the tank. The equipment collects data about the fullness of each tank and sends it to the Internet, where any manager can efficiently schedule deliveries.
TankScan sensors, which are
Company officials expect the new product to be a home run. Sales should grow 400 percent this year, said McDaniel, noting that one customer just ordered 350 units. "We sold more [of the relaunched models] this month than we did all of last year."
TankScan sold 35,000 of its older monitors, which use old analog technology that desperately needed to be updated, the company said.
"I know we are interested in TankScan's new [digital] equipment," Backer said. "The old analog system is becoming a dinosaur. Everybody is getting rid of their analog land line and going to a digital land line or cellphone."
The tank monitors save money "most definitely," Backer said. "A lot of times what will happen in these rural communities is the farmers or company will see the fuel truck go by and suddenly say, 'Oh, I better call them and tell them that I am out of fuel, too.' Then the fuel distributors have to head right back to the area it just serviced a few days ago. With the tank monitors, the fuel truckers know themselves when their customers' tanks need filling."
Managers of small co-ops and farms said they are not so sure the new monitor will be a hit with everyone.
"A lot of our ranchers and farmers are pretty frugal-minded and have just 300- and 500-gallon tanks," Phillips said. "So the biggest problem for them is going to be cost. They won't want to foot the bill for something they can check themselves" by walking up to the tank and looking at the manual fuel reader.
While the new units cost
The device is manufactured at
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